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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / Investigating the Stormwater: Quantity and Quality Impacts of Urban Trees

Investigating the Stormwater: Quantity and Quality Impacts of Urban Trees

Leaves near a storm drain
Bill Selbig, USGS

Investigating the Stormwater: Quantity and Quality Impacts of Urban Trees
January 8, 2020

Bill Selbig, USGS
Rebecca Dohn, City of Nashville


A community with dense overhead tree canopy may benefit from reduced stormwater runoff volume through interception, transpiration, and infiltration but may also suffer from excess nutrients leached to nearby receiving waters from leaf litter. Bill Selbig will highlight ongoing research to help managers assess stormwater volume reduction potential of urban trees as well as understand how municipal leaf collection and street cleaning programs can limit the amount of nutrients in stormwater runoff. Rebecca Dohn will share advances and challenges in the city of Nashville’s efforts to use its urban forest for post-construction water quality stormwater control, including challenges to balancing credits for tree preservation with potential for post-construction tree mortality.

Presentations

View the webinar podcast »

Investigating the Stormwater: Quantity and Quality Impacts of Urban Trees
Bill Selbig
Research Hydrologist
US Geological Survey

How Trees Meet Stormwater Policy in Nashville
Rebecca Dohn
Low Impact Development & Sustainability Coordinator
City of Nashville

Resources

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Using leaf collection and street cleaning to reduce nutrients in urban stormwater
To determine if a municipal leaf collection and street cleaning program can reduce nutrients in stormwater runoff, the USGS measured phosphorus and nitrogen in stormwater from residential areas in Madison, Wis.

Monitoring and predicting the impacts of trees on urban stormwater volume reduction
This study will quantify the effect of tree removal on the urban hydrologic cycle and measure the impact that trees have on stormwater runoff volume.

Metro Nashville’s Low Impact Development Manual
This document contains Nashville’s current water quality specifications that include trees.

Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models
This paper is intended to help the stormwater engineering community more easily account for trees in runoff and pollutant load calculations so that they can more readily incorporate them into their stormwater management strategies.

US Forest Service Resources

Vibrant Cities Lab: Water Quality
A collection of materials that show how trees can have a significant impact on water quality and quantity.